Outbound Links: Do They Affect Your SEO Rankings?

Updated on: 6 August 2019

If you are completely new to outbound links – it may be hard to ascertain if its all bad and no good for SEO at all.

For all you curious minds out there – well, Google recently addressed the topic by dropping a debut 2-minute video clip of #AskGoogleWebmasters on Youtube. And let’s just say that Webmaster Trend Analyst John Mueller did a pretty good job at covering a substantial amount of valuable information for us to pick up on.

Our Digital Marketing Course may have helped to open the doors to the world of SEO – use these key takeaways to complement your learnings and more importantly, apply them to get high rankings on Google!

Do outbound links hurt or help SEO?

Nobody loves useful and accessible information more than users. And what serves that purpose nicely? Outbound links.

In the clip, John Mueller mentioned that outbound links are beneficial in helping users pick up newfound knowledge about a particular topic and check the website’s credibility, reliability and quality.

Now, the question you may have is – since one doesn’t necessarily have control over outbound links, doesn’t this mean that you’ll be passing over your ranking power to another page?

The answer is yes, and no.

Essentially, there are 2 types of outbound links – no matter which one, the text you input into the HTML of the link is what really matters.

What do we mean? We are talking about your dofollow links – these are the best for shifting your ranking focus from a mere blog page to a highly-targeted website page.

Meanwhile, Mueller suggests that nofollow links should be done for links within user-generated content and advertisements. Other than that, no special action has to be taken.

Why should you start caring about outbound links

Boost your reputation

When you make an effort to input outbound links which direct to highly-relevant and credible sources – you are improving your reputation in the long run.

Since outbound links serve as shortcuts that help users find information more easily, in turn meeting their needs in the shortest time possible – if you are able to successfully employ outbound links throughout your site, your website will be deemed to be of much higher authority by users.

Increased relevancy

Users aren’t the only ones you impress when utilising outbound links. Search engines like Google use these links to crawl through websites and establish a higher level of trust in your website.

Simply put, more backlinks to high authority pages like problem-solving sources and other relevant information shows that you’re a legitimate player in your industry – and we already know that if Google sees your site as highly relevant, this indirectly affects SEO results down the line as well.

Provide added value

The best way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is by providing quality content. When users find that your content is beneficial to them – they’ll keep coming back for more.

By adding plenty of outbound links – you’ve just extended a helping hand by compiling all the best material on the web into a single post.

And when there’s a spike in user retention – you’ll notice a huge authority bump from search engines.

Prompts more backlinks

Linking your pages to other sources doesn’t always mean that they’ll do nothing in return. When you take the first step at establishing a network with other journalists, bloggers, companies and websites – chances are they’ll likely be encouraged to do the same.

The more quality backlinks you collect, the higher you will go on the search results page – and the better the perceived authority of your website by Google!

There’s so much more to link building

We’ve just roughly walked you through how outbound links can help your business – but there’s more where that came from. Whether it’s understanding how to choose the best content format, to the usage of various link-building tools – consider signing up for an SEO course today to learn more!

Now that you understand how outbound links are a win-win solution for both you and users – it’s time to reel in your Digital Marketing Agency and set those links up for success!